How are you feeling right now? Perhaps you’re calm or maybe you’re irritated after a tough day? Now take a sec to think about what smell reminds you of your childhood memory. Replay that memory in your mind’s eye and then think about your mood once more. Has it changed in any way?

This basic exercise is a brilliant way to test your response to an aroma, and we didn’t even have to produce the actual scent, we just asked you to think of one. The link between emotional wellbeing and scent is a healing one that is often overlooked, and in the run up to World Mental Health Day, we could all do with paying a bit more attention to how we feel

On days when you’re feeling down, scent is an easy way to lift your spirits. By no means are we claiming certain fragrances can cure mental health conditions, but there’s been research which has proven the effectiveness of scents on wellbeing. Some fragrances can balance your emotions, others can soothe or uplift. This concept is well-known, for example, everyone knows lavender can help you sleep; it’s just working out the right scents for you

It’s all to do with your limbic system. The area of your brain where moods, memories and emotions are processed, it also happens to be where we process our perception of scent. It can’t be coincidence, right? The limbic system is why when we smell a certain aroma, we’re transported somewhere else, or a memory is triggered. It’s a powerful area of the brain which you can use to your advantage

The concept of scent for healing is not a modern one. In fact, it’s been used since the beginning of recorded history in one way or another, and since the pandemic there’s been a shift towards consumers seeking out more natural ways to heal. The joys of essential oils and perfumes are being rediscovered, and with it a stronger connection to the inner workings of ourselves

There are ways to meet the standards we set ourselves without having to reach for medication or seek out unnatural paths. Just the scent of coffee alone has been found to increase performance and focus, but we understand it’s not always that easy. With all of this in mind, it couldn’t be clearer how important it is to be aware of yourself, your moods, your triggers, your aches, and pains. But it’s also so important to remember there are ways to shift your mindset, if only a little, in a more positive direction

So, with a view to utilising the power of scent, here’s 5 aromas that you could look to introduce into your life, whether as a candle, incense, essential oil, room mist, shower gel or perfume – the list goes on, and they’re worth a try, right?

Clary Sage – This herby scent is helpful in combatting anxiety, stress, and tension. It is also a natural sedative that can aid in hormone rebalancing. Worth seeking out as an essential oil, but can also be found in perfumes

Citrus – Found as top notes in many fragrances, this is perhaps one of the most widely used scent types. They are energy boosters and associated with sunshine and happiness. These aromas are uplifting, energising and can ease stress and depression

Vanilla – One whiff of vanilla can help promote serenity and reduce anxiety. Also, according to a study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, it can be very effective at treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Cinnamon – A sweet-smelling spice that boosts brain power and cognitive function, therefore helping to improve focus. It reminds a lot of people of winter, and can be a comforting, homely scent

Peppermint – Associated with freshness and cool air, this scent is invigorating for the mind and gives mental performance a boost. It has also been found to ease anxiety and depression and relieve feelings of sadness

* Please note the information we provide in this article is meant to be advisory and informational. It is by no means medical advice and should not be followed against the advice of a medical practitioner. *

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